Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

CORE student Matthew Ullom tells Bible stories to refugee children during a recent mission trip.

CORE Students Radically Change, Witness

Story by Tamyra Horst

Imagine waking up at 2 a.m., traveling all morning, landing in another state at noon, and immediately setting up a mini-health fair with multilingual materials, health care, free household items, and children's games and stories. While part of your team engages with people at the fair, others go door to door, visiting, sharing literature and offering prayer.

That's exactly what students from Pennsylvania Conference's CORE—an evangelism and training program—recently did on their mission trip with Reach the World Next Door in refugee communities in Houston, Texas. This also gave them the opportunity to learn crosscultural witnessing.

While on the mission trip, a man noticed the cross on the shirt Dee Casper, CORE director, was wearing. The man asked the students, “Are you with a church?” He told them he longed for a Christian community, but, because of negative experiences, he didn’t have Christian friends. When he learned the group had just landed, he realized God had sent them.

Later, he came to a health fair where the team prayed with him and Casper gave him a Bible, Steps to Christ and The Great Controversy. These young adults spent two weeks praying and distributing diapers, clothes, food and furniture to refugees and others in need. They also preached and shared music during an evangelistic series at one of the Cambodian churches.

“Our students were radically changed. ... They realized that the world ... is about serving others,” Casper shares. “Evangelism isn’t just going up to preach to people. ... When we listen to people and meet their needs, it opens their desire to learn and willingness to hear the gospel.”

Learn more about CORE and enroll for next year’s program at

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